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Prelate of Opus Dei mourned

ROME (SE): Bishop Javier Echevarria, the prelate of Opus Dei, died at the age of 84 on December 12 in Rome. He was the second successor of the founding father of Opus Dei, Father Josemaria Escriva, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonised in 2002.

The auxiliary vicar of the prelature, Monsignor Fernando Ocariz, administered the sacrament of the sick a few hours before his death.

Bishop Echevarria was born in 1932 in Madrid, the same city where many years later he met Father Escriva. He later became his secretary before being appointed as the secretary general of Opus Dei.

He was elected as the prelate in 1994. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul at St. Peter’s Basilica on 6 January 1995.

From the beginning of his ministry, his priorities were family, youth and culture. He oversaw the beginning of the prelature’s stable formation programmes in 16 countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

He encouraged the founding of numerous institutions dedicated to immigrants, the sick and the marginalised, giving special attention to a growing number of centres for the care of the terminally ill.

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